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Hi-yo, Silver, aw-….ah, forget it – Roy Rogers and Trigger #129

June 28, 2010

I’m out of my depth here, folks.  Out of my depth and the undertow is dragging me out to sea.  I know absolutely nothing about Roy Rogers apart from the occasional neon-sign in a mall foodcourt.  I couldn’t tell him apart from any of the old cowboy actors like Gene Autry, and the only thing separating him from the Lone Ranger in my mind is a little mask.

But I’m always looking to broaden my horizons, so that’s why I pulled this one out of the stacks.

It actually brought back some memories for me, even though Roy had disappeared from screens well before I was born.  When I was really little I had a rocking horse, not one that wobbled like a rocking chair, but one that was framed on some springs.  I used to ride that thing like you wouldn’t believe, like I was chasing some outlaw across the plains, and I can remember how my hands would sometimes slip on the handles and my head would rap off the horse’s solid plastic mane.

Ouch. 

You may wonder what the hell this has to do with anything.  Well, I’ll tell you.  You want to know what that rocking horse’s name was?

Trigger.

Now, I doubt that I pulled that name out of the air.  It was probably my father who named it, an even more likely scenario in light of his having grown up in Rogers’ hayday.

So I guess there’s a little cross-generational connection going on here which I kind of dig.  Honestly, I hadn’t thought about that rocking horse in years, and if I hadn’t seen this comic that memory might have slipped into a hazy area where remembrances go, never to be recalled again.  And since it’s Trigger that’s the bridge between Roy and me, let’s have a look at a brief four page Trigger story from this issue.

“Unheeded Warning” finds the son of a friend of Roy’s visiting the Roy Rogers Ranch.  The visitor, Roland, wants to go out for a ride and demands to ride Trigger.  Chico, a young stableboy, reluctantly agrees and goes with him, though he soon discovers that Roland is quite a prick:

Roland soon breaks out the crop and Trigger quickly puts some distance between them and Chico.  Roland works up a thirst wailing on the poor palomino:

Trigger balks at taking a drink and tries to prevent Roland from having one, which prompts the brat to a new round of lashing:

Finally Chico shows up and explains Trigger’s behavior — the water’s polluted:

Lesson learned, though if I had been in Trigger’s horseshoes I would have let the little bastard take a real deep draft from the Superfund water.

A nice little story, though I wish I could find rome reliable information about the creative team.  I know that Gaylord DuBois was the scripter on many a Roy Rogers tale, but the artist remains a complete mystery to me.  Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places.  It’s a shame, because I like the artist’s work — the deep shadows on the rocks near the watering hole add a lot of texture to the sere scenery.  If anyone has any idea who these folks might be, please feel free to chime in.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2010 8:24 pm

    I’m a little older than you, so I knew Roy as the guy who showed up now and then on variety shows to sing with his wife, Dale. Also as the cowboy with the virtual United Nations of adoptees on an episode of “Wonder Woman” (which more or less reflected his real family).

    Roy should be easy for you to distinguish from the other singing cowboys by his eyes. Pete Townshend sang that “all the best cowboys have Chinese eyes,” but to my knowledge Roy was the only one who met that criteria. And then of course Jackie Chan showed up in “Shanghai Noon” to disprove Pete’s theory entirely.

    Can’t help you on the artist credit, but Dark Horse (no joke!) is giving Roy the “Archive” treatment, so if and when they get around to this issue maybe you’ll have your credits.

    • June 29, 2010 9:06 pm

      I’m still afraid that, even with your “Chinese eyes” cheat and the fact that I have this comic for a visual reference, I still couldn’t pick Roy out of a line-up of one. And thanks for the heads up about the Dark Horse reprints — at least my curiosity might one day be satisfied, and my OCD is grateful for that.

  2. Steinar Ådland permalink
    December 4, 2010 2:07 am

    The artist of this story is John Ushler, who also drew one of the Disney Davy Crockett stories. Aløso Rex Allen and Gene Autry.

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